Originally I intended to swear a lot in this week's blog post. However I just saw Deadpool at the cheap movie theater (love 3 dollar Thursdays and 2 dollar Tuesdays)! If you aren't offended by graphic language and even more graphic depictions of murder porn, you'll love it. I do have a sick twisted sense of humor, so it is okay for me when I'm in a certain mood. I mean I did canonize Bitch Pudding in the Church of the Mooneagle. She's the Patron Saint of Kicking Ass and Taking Names (or more like calling names).
In a bizarre way that diatribe about language and swear words is related to this week's musing, the power of words. Once uttered words have tremendous power. (Or typed on a blog for instance with an international readership). This week I have been thinking about how few words it takes to start an avalanche of change in our lives or the lives of those around us. Believe it or not I once changed the focus of a national ad campaign with one sentence. The person who got the advertisement revenue still has no idea it was me who led them to their door; they don't even know who I am. As the Mooneagle I sometimes like to operate mysteriously (magically and with meaning too if I can fit it in).
More than what I've done is what has occurred in my life because of a few off handed comments by teachers or other figures of importance in my life. My book was the result of something one of my shamanic teachers said at one of her potluck gatherings about the runes. Fast forward about five years and you have my debut book Drumming Down the Runes Walking the 24 Roads (totally not a plug I swear...well maybe a little one). My method of ancestral healing was the result of another comment about the dreamtime. The subsequent journeys that came out of that later evolved into one of my healing practices that I am most proud of. A presenter and colleague demonstrating the Blessing Way to us at a meditation group, just quickly mentioned that we could create our own ceremony and voila my weekly prayer rattling ceremony was born (now over 3 years strong rawr)!
The above are just a few examples of the exponential power that words can have once they leave our lips. Unfortunately off hand comments can also wound as deeply as they can uplift. I remember one of my first teacher's off hand comments in regard to happiness. They called it a stupid pursuit. Unbeknownst to them at the time I was suffering from deep depression. It did not get better, well not for a while. Other off hand comments from various important folks in my life had at one time or another convinced me that I was: ugly, unloveable, worthless, and that my feelings didn't matter. So there is a dark side my pretties, a very big one, and we've all contributed to it.
With my reflection on how much simple unplanned statements affected my path and vision of myself I began to wonder, how have my words shaped others? What have I said that has created more healing in someone's life? What have I said that has crushed someone's spirit? Too often we speak without thinking, to sound clever or witty. We don't always consider the impact of our words. We can't really control how our words will be received, but we can at the very least put a clear intent in them. If someone chooses to take them in a hurtful way then it is on them and not us. How many of us though really reflect on the energy of what we're saying to our loved ones, our colleagues, the public, and those in our care?
In my life I have said things, terrible things, that I wish I had never spoken out loud. They can't ever be taken back once spoken. I thought in horror, and those are only the things I know about, how many other things have I said that have torn someone apart. When I didn't mean to, occasionally I have to verbally tear someone a new one. We all sometimes have to tell someone where they can get off. I hope that the good in my words outweighs the bad. I want what I say to inspire and help people find the wonder in their world. I don't want to discourage, I want to uplift. Still unless I take a vow of silence it is unlikely that I can avoid doing harm with my words. So I have decided to try and start a new daily practice, a short prayer when I awaken so that my words will be filled with my desire to cause ripple effects for the common good. It isn't a failsafe, some people will still choose to read wrongly into what I say, but I figure if I set the intent each day it is more likely that the energy of my words will be healing. It will also serve as a gentle reminder to myself to be mindful of what I say.
How about you? Has the slightest comment from others set you on a new road of exciting growth and discovery? Has a snide remark sent you into a spiral of despair and self doubt? It is often not what people are aiming for that sets us off one way or another. That is what makes it so powerful, it is the energy of new possibilities that can light us up or conversely burn us down. How aware are you of how your words affect the people in your world? Do you ever give thought to how you will be received and what may arise from that? Ponder that in silence for a bit, and then leave a comment below and we'll see where it takes us.
Peace and Blessings,